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Pretty steep with lot of switchbacks but it's cool to be on the top of Texas! Took us about 6 hours. Can be very windy on the top!

This was alot of fun and a bit challenging.

Nice views. Took me 2.5 hours up, but I go at a fast pace when I'm by myself and without an overnight pack.

Awesome hike!!!

Amazing view. My friend and I did it in about 5 1/2 hours without any training whatsoever, so it’s doable. Very windy though.

One of Texas’ great hikes. Not as difficult as listed, moderate and can be completed in 4-5 hours

me and my friend camped at big bend for 5 days then on the way back came here just for the purpose of reaching the highest elevation in texas. we were running short on time and were able to go up to the top and back in only 3 hours.

This is a great day-hike trail. If you don't want to finish it in one day, then you can stay at the peak campground. The park says it is strenous. But it is great for kids too. It is also very windy in winter.

Beautiful views and ecology not typical to the rest of Texas await you on this well-maintained trail. Due to weather/terrain typical of mountain hikes, this hike can be brutal, so take this one seriously.

backpacking
16 days ago

Beautiful. Varied terrain. Hills, rocks, flat, sand. Many picturesque views of woods and the lake along the way.

Did the peak in mid October got pinned down at the top by High Winds and freezing rain! Be sure to get an early start and make it back to camp before dark! We barely made it back down before dark but a very beautiful climb!

This hike was amazing. Gorgeous views, but dont get fooled by the 7.5 mile round trip it's a lot longer than that just one way due to all the switchbacks you traverse. So some trail training is a must before attempt to tackle this trail. When you get to the top it's all worth the effort.

What a thrill to stand at the highest point in Texas! This was my birthday hike, fortunately delayed from August as the temperature was perfect in early November at mid 60s F. According to my GPS, this trail is closer to 9 miles, most of which is quite steep and rocky. The wind was strong and consistent throughout. There are few signs, but only one place near the summit had us tracing the trail visually from above us to find our way. Take extra water - my daughter drank 3 liters and ran out a mile from the trailhead on the descent. Start early to finish before dark as the days are shorter, and bring a headlamp/flashlight in case you don’t. Poles are a big bonus on the way down. Expect a challenging and very rewarding hike!

Memorable hike.

Trip from Houston
Drove from Houston - hiked next day - drove back. Overnight each way. DO NOT TAKE Pecos Highway, 285 or HWY 62 - large potholes and 100 miles of oil drilling trucks, fields, etc.
Stayyed at Super 8 in Sonora - very nicely refurbished and inexpensive.

60 year old ok shape male. Left before dawn at 6:40. Hike for me took about 8 hours plus an hour on top. Glad we left in the morning before it got hot. Had hiking poles - a must if you are not 20-30 something. Had plenty of water and the foul weather gear but the day was beautiful. Day before they had 50 mph winds.

We were going to hike up to the wilderness campsites - but the campsites were full. But we got the last site at the campgrounds at the base - bring ear plugs.
So glad we did not take the 35 pound pack up 2000 feet to the wilderness campsites especially since we would have had a late start.

Brought Nikon D-90 and got some great pics. Picnic on top great.

What is amazing is the perspective - for instance, you will look down on El Capitan and the mini mountains look like dots. So I at once see the immensity of God’s creation and realize how small I am - even yet for one moment when I was the tallest person in Texas. Have fun.

Good hike inside the city. Great for swimming when we get enough rain.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful and not that difficult trail. I finished in 5 hours. The views are great! Lightly trafficked is an understatement, there was nobody on the trail.

Good trail that is easy to follow. Finished RT right around 4 hours. All levels can do this trail but time will vary. It’s steep in a lot of places and your legs will feel it. It was very windy during certain sections and at the very top.

A view well earned. Trail is is difficult with lots of loose rocks. Start early. Slow and steady will get you there.

Great hike. The initial switchbacks were challenging, but overall the hike was enjoyable. It took me 5 hours total including a break at the top. The weather was cool and the fog created some great scenes. Unfortunately, the clouds obscured the view at the summit, but there were views along the way.

... One of my all time favorite hikes. There is a lot of variety on this trail, especially if you pay attention to small details.

Great hike to take the dog and family on. Would be nice to hike the entire loop one day.

backpacking
1 month ago

We just returned from hiking the entire loop around the lake. My first piece of advice would be to check the lake level before you go. 791’ is “normal” and according to a frequent hiker will be mostly dry on trail with a few stream crossings to get your feet wet. We went when the lake was at 799.85’, and it was certainly NOT dry! Ha ha! Still mostly do-able, but certainly more adventurous! (see full description below) Secondly, be SURE to take All Trails with you! There are many intersections without signage. All Trails saved us a lot of heart ache!! I would give the trail 5 stars, (the actual hiking was great!!) but I took off a star for the lack of accurate information, and flat out misinformation provided by some of the park attendants around the lake. They obviously do not hike the trail! For example: do NOT park at Overlook park – even if someone tells you it’s o.k. It isn’t, and you may be towed. Instead, park at Cedar Breaks (It’s free for hikers). But DO stop at the Overlook office and pick up a Topo map. – It’s much better than the Corps of Engineers’ map that you can find online. Also, the mileage is a little off on maps as well as on trail. The map says it’s a 28 mile loop, but there are only 25 mile markers (mm). Our devices clocked us as 28.5 miles, but we had to do some work-arounds to stay dry in a few places. Overall great trail! We saw plenty of deer as well as tracks of other wildlife. The views of the lake were just gorgeous, and well worth the hassle. Trail description:
From Cedar Breaks, the trail is rocky with some fairly steep ups and downs. It’s slick in the rain, but do-able. I would not take a dog on this section without some sort of protection for their paws.
We missed the turn off for Cedar Hollow camp (no sign - just a bare stone column). So we went on to Sawyer Hollow camp. It was fine for hammocks, but ‘meh’ for tents. The designated tent site was rocky and sloped. There are NO toilets there (not that you’d use anyway – see photos). Shortly after Cedar Hollow – between mm 7 and mm 8, we came to water we couldn’t hike around. It was obviously from flooding because there were fire ant colonies floating in it. It was 4 ft. deep (chest-high). Again, the lake level was 799’.
From mm 7 to mm 16, the hiking is easy – through grasslands and much of it on an old dirt / grass road. We ate lunch at Tejas Park. They have chemical toilets and a water fountain as well as picnic tables and trash cans. The bridge was covered in 4ft of fast-flowing water. We were uneasy with the speed of the water, so we chose to not wade through it. The next bridge across would’ve added 10 miles to our hike according to the park host (I have not verified that distance.). We didn’t have that much time, because we wanted to make it to Walnut Springs before dark. So we called Uber(!) to take us just to the other side of the bridge. The cost was $15 plus tip. Approaching Walnut Springs, the grass road we’d been walking was underwater for 150 yards or so. We couldn’t tell the depth or the current in the middle, so we looked for an alternate. There is one on the map, but it is inaccurately marked on the trail. There is a stone column there with some old trailhead names. Coming from the west, turn left and follow the path north and then east to a stream crossing. The path will take you back to the road on the other side of the water. Because of the high lake level / flooding, the stream was 4ft. deep for us. We chose not to try it right before dark (we’d wasted a lot of time on a long lunch, waiting for Uber, and locating the work-around). We were afraid of hypothermia – since the water was super cold and temperatures in the low 50’s, and no chance of a fire that night due to everything being wet. So we stealth camped on the west side (not allowed!). In the morning, we waded through and passed Walnut Springs Camp. There are no toilets. (Well, there are some before the water that look exactly like the ones at Sawyer Hollow – i.e. they’ve been through a hurricane or two.) Walnut Springs Camp looked like a nice spot. There were trees for hammocks. We didn’t sleep there, so I can’t tell you about the tent sites. From mm 16 to Jim Hogg, you get back into some rocky terrain with ups and downs. The ups and downs don’t seem as steep as those near Cedar Breaks, and the rocks are easier too. Jim Hogg is just after mm 21, NOT mm 20 like it says on the online map!!! That last mile is tough when you’re expecting a lunch break! I can’t recommend Hogg as a lunch stop – there are no toilets and no picnic tables. We did get water from a hose behind the check-in building. From Hogg to Overlook is a pretty easy 3 miles. We crossed a few easy streams, and found a work-around for a longer water crossing.
Overlook has State Park style restrooms. From Overlook to Cedar Breaks the "trail" is mostly concrete. Turn right to go over the Dam. Do not cross the road.

After doing observation point just 3 weeks earlier, this hike was much tougher than expected. I went in early October and the winds and cold temperatures made it a challenge.

Well-maintained and not very steep. Spectacular views the entire way up. Super windy around a few corners when I hiked it last week - definitely bring a jacket.

I am an unfit 26 year old who likes to hike occasionally, but otherwise I am inactive. These reviews definitely made me feel ill prepared for this hike, along with the park ranger who advised we not start the hike as late in the afternoon as we did, but we chose not to listen. I’m glad we went ahead!

We started our hike on 10/14 at 2:20pm, reached the summit at 5:07pm, started our trek back down at 5:35pm, and were back at 7:15pm. Lots of stops on the way up, just a couple on the way down. We each took two liters of water. A third probably would have been good to have.

The weather was PERFECT. The wind kept us cool most of the hike. We started in shorts and tank tops. Brought pants and pullovers that we changed into at the summit, but we didn’t need to because it didn’t cool off until after we left the park. It got chilly at times, but the weather was consistent for our hike up and down. The wind wasn’t 50 miles per hour at the summit for us, but barely blowing while we were there. The views were clear, and we could see everything! So amazing!

Passed maybe 25 people who were coming down the mountain on our way up. Passed two people who were going up on our way down. Very peaceful and quiet trail that we had to ourselves most of the hike, so I’m glad we chose that time to go!

It wasn’t as hard as a lot of these reviews make
it seem, but it was hard. Also, our Apple devices said we hiked 10 miles total. We did the hikers only trail, not the horse/hiker trail. Something to keep in mind as well. The trail is well marked, so staying on it is easy. There is a lot of loose gravel/rocks, but it didn’t really seem to be an issue. Just wear hiking shoes.

If you’re planning on doing Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains in the same day, like we did, there’s a time change. Guadalupe is an hour behind Carlsbad.

1 month ago

Challenging trail with solitude. Views pretty good. I prefer Hunter Peak and Guadalupe Mountain for a hike and views. Very hot in summer with little shade.

My group loved this trail! Be prepared for crazy weather changes! we started off hiking in minimal clothing to bundled up on top and wet! Such an adventure and so much fun!

Hard to rate it well b/c the top part of the mountain was covered in clouds (and cold wind!) all day when I hiked it. So I got no view AND the hike up was pretty miserable b/c of the weather. I can imagine w/o that issue, it would have been a spectacular, five-star hike. The trail is hard b/c of the elevation gain, but the trail is really well-maintained with plenty of switchbacks, so no scrambling necessary! I would love to do the hike again if I could be sure it was going to be a clear day at elevation. (The weather forecast for today was all sunny. NOT.)

Climbed it on September 15. Weather was fantastic. It was more difficult than I anticipated, but definitely worth it.

backpacking
2 months ago

Love this 24 mile National Recreational Trail located in the Kisatchie National Forest. Cold clear spring creeks for water sources. Has some challenging hilly sections. Know as a great shakedown trail before you go on other hikes, I think it’s great for enjoying the awesomeness of his Central Louisiana forest.

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